It has come to light that as many as 12,275 engineering seats are vacant at the 114 engineering colleges affiliated to the University of Pune (UoP) at the end of the admission process for the academic year 2012-13 in the state. With many colleges struggling to keep a float, reputed colleges like G H Raisoni, Wagholi, and Dr D Y Patil College’s Lohegaon campus, have now applied to close their engineering divisions, as they are unable to attract students this year.
With the unoccupied seats sending alarm bells ringing, Dr Mrudula Kulkarni, an engineering professor and senate member, questioned the varsity’s need to approve new colleges and push up the number of vacant seats at the UoP senate meeting held on Saturday. Kulkarni demanded that since there is a glut of engineering colleges, the varsity has to stop providing its affiliation to new colleges in the interest of students.
Replying to Kulkarni’s query, the UoP administration informed that there are 34,469 engineering seats available at 84 colleges, out of which 8,210 seats remain vacant in the city this year. The situation is similar in Ahmednagar and Nashik districts, which come under the UoP, where 1,596 engineering seats in Ahmednagar and 2,469 seats in Nashik remain unfilled.
Ironically, after last year’s engineering admission process was completed, the State Higher and Technical Education minister, Rajesh Tope, had announced that from next year the state government would not sanction new engineering colleges in the state. But, in spite of the proclamation, UoP granted affiliation to 12 new engineering colleges in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik, due to which 3,540 engineering seats increased at the UoP.
When Dr Kulkarni queried the varsity as to why they were not following the state government’s directive, UoP officials cleared the stand by stating that though the state government has sent a letter to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex council of technical education, with a demand to stop granting permission to new engineering colleges in the state, AICTE has still not issued a directive to them on this issue.
While replying to Kulkarni’s question, Dr Sunanda Navale, senior senate member, said, “As the UoP has not received any formal directive from the state government or the AICTE, the varsity has continued to provide affiliation to new engineering colleges this year.
Leave encashment repealed
After debating for over three hours on Saturday, the UoP’s senate has finally scrapped the statute 424-C, by way of a voting process. The statute relates to the encashment of earned leave (EL) for teachers up to 180 days after retirement.
After listening to both sides, the Vice-Chancellor announced a voting on this matter, as no solution was deduced through discussions. The controversial statue was rejected by a difference of seven votes.